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Rada riot: Ukrainian MPs exchange 'fascist' insults, start brawl (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Published time: March 19, 2013 16:22
Edited time: March 20, 2013 05:32

Ukrainian deputies scuffle during a session in the national Parliament in Kiev March 19, 2013. (Reuters)

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Dozens of Ukrainian MPs from the two major parties got into a fist fight in the parliament, the Verkhovna Rada. The brawl began with yelling over the language used in the chamber and 'fascist' accusations from both sides.

The session was opened by the head of the ruling Party of Regions, Aleksandr Efremov, speaking in Russian, a language his opponents manifest that they strongly dislike. Ukrainian Liberty Party members made sure nobody could hear the speech by chanting “Speak Ukrainian!” out loud and drumming with their hands against the desks.

The chanting took place for all six minutes of Efremov's speech, during which he called the speech-spoilers “the chanting neo-fascists.”

Ukrainian opposition and majority deputies fight on March 19, 2013 on whether to speak Ukrainian or Russian in the parliament in Kiev. (AFP Photo)

When the speaker finished his talk, the head of the chanting Liberty group, Oleg Tyagnibok, came to the front and declared

“Glory to Ukraine.” However, he was met by a massive whistling from Efremov's supporters, who were craving revenge. Now it was the Party of Regions’ turn to call names, labeling Tyagnibok “a fascist” as he spoke.

The Liberty group then became serious as they could not let their speaker be drowned out. The rival parties ended up scuffling in the middle of the Verkhovna Rada chamber, bringing the lawmaking process to a complete standstill. One Liberty MP's lip was split in the scuffles.

The brawl lasted for no longer than a minute, but paralyzed the work of the parliament yet again, and the Rada chairman announced a recess. 

Brawling is a usual ‘way of things’ in the Ukrainian parliament and a split lip is not the worst injury seen. One opposition MP was hospitalized and another had his ribs broken as a result of Russian language status discussions last summer.

Ukrainian deputies scuffle during a session in the national Parliament in Kiev March 19, 2013. (Reuters)

Ukrainian deputies scuffle during a session in the national Parliament in Kiev March 19, 2013. (Reuters)

Comments (25)


andrew 09.04.2014 01:36

It looks like no rule from government to parliament.
How long this non elected governement will last despite the backing from the US or EU?
Social,econo mic problems are piling up,the governemnt will be auto destructed as it fails to represent the people from all corners of Ukraine.


Uncle Bob 08.04.2014 21:43

Anonymous user 22.03.2013 09:56

truth be told, Russian is a dialect of Ukrainian


In a way your right. Ukrainian and "Russian" are dialects of the same language. Much like "Low German" and "High German" spoken in Germany.


Uncle Bob 08.04.2014 21:40

[quote name='Olga Kelley' time='20.03.2013 07:30']I have not seen any statistics indicating that "at least half of Ukraine speaks Russian"[/quote ]

The Ukrainian census says 42-46% use Russian as their main language. Including in Kiev 54% of the people. While 29% only know Russian.

View all comments (25)
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